A cannabis trafficker has forfeited bitcoins worth about $ 3 million after they were seized by the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau. However, a larger stash of 6,000 bitcoins of his, worth about $ 200 million at the current price, is still not accessible to the agency.
Irish authority sold seized Bitcoin
Cannabis dealer Clifton Collins has forfeited bitcoins worth about $ 3 million previously seized by the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), the Sunday World reported last week. Collins reportedly has two bitcoin stash. He agreed to seize the first, smaller stock in the Bray Circuit Court in late December, when the agency told a judge it had sold the cryptocurrency.
Collins started growing cannabis full-time around 2005. He rented properties across Ireland, including a house in Galway, to grow his marijuana crops. He harvested, packaged and sold them in Dublin. He then used the proceeds to buy bitcoin in late 2011 and early 2012. Police arrested him in Galway in 2017, seized some of his bitcoins and he was sentenced to five years in prison. The CAB told Collins that he couldn’t keep his coins and the state has a claim on them because they were bought with the proceeds of crime.
The CAB’s lawyers were ordered in late December to seize the money from the sale of Collin’s 89 bitcoins, along with cash and assets from the profits from his cannabis growing houses. The publication brought:
Collins handed over a “mnemonic” containing 85 bitcoins and a code for another 4 that he gave to his father shortly after his arrest.
Justice Alex Owens allowed the sale of the 89 bitcoins after concerns were raised about hacking and the high fluctuation of the cryptocurrency’s price. Sergeant Pat Lynch told the judge that Collins accepted that the bitcoins were the proceeds of crime and that he had no objection to their being sold.
However, there is still a supply of 6,000 BTC, which the agency claims to have confiscated, even though it still does not have access to it. This stock is now worth about $ 200 million.
After his arrest, Collins told the CAB that the information needed to access the coins was scribbled on a piece of paper and hidden in a fishing rod, which he said was in the Galway house. He ordered CAB officers to find the fishing rod, but when the police went looking for it, it was missing and no one knew where he was.
Several theories then emerged as to where the rod could be located, including that it was stolen during an alleged burglary to the property, sent to a waste incinerator in China after the landlord cleaned up the house, or otherwise misplaced . However, according to the news outlet, the CAB believes it is only a matter of time before computer progress would allow them to access the 6,000 bitcoins.
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